Template talk:Inactive WikiProject banner

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Discussion from Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)[edit]

We have many WikiProjects which are inactive (see Category:Inactive WikiProjects); some never even got off the ground. Some of them have project banners which take up space on talk pages. If the project is inactive then the assessment data is not being used either. So I propose to hide these banners, by blanking their banner templates. The code and assessment would not be removed from talk pages, so the banner can easily be resurrected in the future if the project becomes active again. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:58, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

easy support. –xenotalk 22:59, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I can see people removing the banners if nothing is visible... --Izno (talk) 23:04, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Along the same lines, I can also see someone deleting them if they're blanked. A <noinclude>ed note explaining the situation would be better than a blanking to solve that. Just a minimal banner rather than none might solve Izno's concern:
WikiProject Foo (Inactive)  
(which could probable be done easily enough through {{WPBannerMeta}} by adding an "inactive" parameter) Anomie 23:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Hiding works for me, though why not just remove them or delete them. Most inactive ones that have been inactive more than a few months generally stay that way. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 23:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Question Are we just going to blank the banner visually, or are you also proposing to remove the code that places those articles into categories? The box blanking is easily revertable. The deletion of thousands of now empty categories is a little more difficult. If a project is later revived, the recreation of previously deleted catagories could result in a mess at CfD. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 23:10, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Why not just remove the banners, particularly if the project has been inactive for say 2 years, 1 year? There's no point in project banners on a talk page if a project is inactive. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 23:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
(to AnmaFinotera and IP69xxx) Many particularly unnecessary edits to remove a short piece of code, and also the project can't be easily resurrected if we do that. –xenotalk 23:21, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I still think they should be removed if the project has been inactive for any reasonable length of time. I wouldn't say it's unnecessary to de-spam a talk page, and they shouldn't be left in place merely to facilitate the hypothetical resurrection of a project. PC78 (talk) 23:45, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
The project can be resurrected in the usual way, just get a bot to add the banners again, or save a list of the pages to the defunct project page. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 00:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I see no reason to do anything about them. They might lead to the Project being restarted and they might remind people to replace them with teh banner of a parent project. I do not see that removing them improves wikipedia so why do it. --Bduke (Discussion) 00:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't see how having banners to 3-year-old never active projects improves wikipedia. I see how it can make wikipedia an uninviting and confusing place for a new user, though. And that is, imo, reason to delete them. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 00:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I have no problem with the removal if: a) there is still an active project banner on the page, and b) attempts are made to merge the inactive project to an appropriate parent project. I just removed over 600 banners from a defunct project that was converted to a task force of its parent project. Conversion is preferable to outright deletion, especially regarding the categories on those talk pages. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 00:25, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm okay with upmerging or finding a different task force, first. AIDs can go to medicine, etc. I don't understand a, though. It seems you're saying okay to remove the banner if the banner is left? Oh, you mean if any banner from any project is left on a page? I think that's the most frustrating thing for someone who comes to wikipedia and wants to engage in discussion about a talk page for the first time, click on a project banner, post there, then get ignored forever. I don't see the benefit, if that's what you mean. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 00:37, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
How about hiding the bulk of the banner so it says "This article was part of defunct project Foo, to discuss what should happen to the project go to WP:Projects for disucssion. " then people would have the choice depending on concensus:
  • Request removal of banners at WP:BOTREQ
  • Restarting the project
  • Up-merging to Project Bar with or without keeping the granularity info (|project was = Foo) either by [[WP:BOTREQ], redirecting the banner, or making one an expression of the other.
Rich Farmbrough, 05:59, 13 November 2009 (UTC).
(Or what Anomie said) Rich Farmbrough, 06:58, 13 November 2009 (UTC).

Thanks for all the comments on this. I agree that it would be a good idea to show something along the lines of what Anomie suggested, as just blanking the template would likely cause some confusion. So here is what I think I will do:

  • Instead of adding a new parameter to {{WPBM}} I think it would be simpler to write a new template (e.g. {{Inactive WikiProject banner}} or perhaps a new subtemplate of Template:WPBannerMeta for this.
  • The template should use the same parameters as WPBM, so to mark a template as "inactive" all one has to do is replace WPBannerMeta with WPBannerMeta/inactive (for example).
  • The output will be just one row (like Anomie suggested) both in full display and in its collapsed form inside a banner shell.
  • The word "inactive" could be linked to somewhere appropriate, so that editors can get more information about what it means.
  • The actual template page will also explain what has happened and how to reactivate it. It could also show what the template used to look like to save people looking through the history.
  • I don't see support for mass removal of these banners, although I think we should make it clear that editors can feel free to remove them locally on a page-by-page basis if it is deemed appropriate.
  • Wikipedia:WikiProjects for discussion is an interesting idea, but I think that it is relatively rare for a wikiproject to be discussed and so Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion should suffice.

— Martin (MSGJ · talk) 07:28, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Okay, {{WikiProject Elvis Presley}} is the first guinea pig. You can see how it appears outside and inside a banner shell. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:25, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
They look find. I still think, especially for projects that never did anything but post banners, the banners are just clutter, but I'm fine with collapsing to one line since there appears to be consensus for that. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 08:44, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Good idea, but it would be even better if the 'inactive' banners could be removed altogether after a certain period of time. One year? --Kleinzach 09:37, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I would oppose this move. To my eyes, it would make far more sense to try to deal with the essential problem of an inactive project, which is what to do with the project page itself. In general, the best way to deal with that is to see if the group can be turned into a taskforce of some larger group dealing with the same area. If that can be done, then there clearly would be no problem in having the banner of the new parent project in place of that of the older project that has been turned into a subproject. But, in at least some cases, these inactive projects may be the only ones that really deal directly with certain articles, and I would very much regret seeing the removal of a banner if in so doing the possibly sole existing assessment of an article is also eliminated. John Carter (talk) 15:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I prefer the "Inactive" styling per Anomie and {{WikiProject Elvis Presley}} / Martin's example. I am concerned that without showing that a project has existed, that is by deleting the banners entirely from talk pages, a second project might inadvertently be started with a slight variation of the project name. Unlikely but still possible. Further, calling attention to inactive status via the banner and link might help revive a dormant project. Sswonk (talk) 16:07, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Some of these inactive projects amount to a week's worth of work by one person. Someone made up a project name, got a template, added it to 50 articles, then disappeared. A second project inadvertently naming themselves similarly is not going to impact anything, it seems. If it is, please elaborate, because I don't understand the concern. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 20:22, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Using hypothetical, illustration-only names, suppose "WP Battletown" is inactive and the banner is removed from talk pages. A year later, without realizing the first exists another editor begins and recruits different members for "WP Battletown, Texas". The new user has created new banners, userboxes, project subpages, categories and so on. Then, the creator of "WP Battletown" returns from a 16 month hiatus and sees the new project. Both see a duplication of effort and waste of time that would have been avoided if the second editor had simply seen the "Inactive" banner and taken over for the first. Page merges, page moves and history merges might all be forced when they could have been avoided by leaving a vestigial, "Inactive" banner on Battletown related article talk pages. As I wrote, it is unlikely but possible that this might occur. Sswonk (talk) 22:13, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • To me, that's just way over-hypothetically worried. I think that happens once in the history of wikipedia and it's the only thing that ever bothers those constituents it's just not going to matter, particular, if instead of two inconvienced-because they're careless sorts you settle for 5000 inconvenienced because they're new readers, possible editors. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 05:29, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Note that for "2 hours of work by 1 person" never-got-off-the-ground projects, there's always WP:MFD. Anomie 01:57, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 05:29, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Inactive Template Nice job Martin. I like this better than removing them outright. Editors interested enough in a topic to be spending time on the talk pages are at least given the chance to see the inactive link, and hopefully click through. The best result is to reactivate some of these projects. The next best idea is to get them merged into an active project. I also agree with Sswonk that the re-creation of these projects is work that doesn't need to be done. By maintaining the historical WP, interested editors can get a project back into active status. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 16:37, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment: Would a single banner specifying multiple inactive WikiProjects (when applicable), rather than one banner for each inactive project be better? –Whitehorse1 20:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
    It might be, if such a banner could tolerate the multiple revisions it would receive fairly regularly, with the related changes to the talk pages that the inactive banners are placed on. Just remember, every time someone tries to reactivate a project, they will want their separate banner restored, with the material removed from the inactive banner. For those projects which are, basically, seriously dead, like perhaps a group for a musical act that hasn't had anything notable happen to it in years, such a banner might be useful. But I think the amount of busywork related to changing it as people activate and deactivate projects might be more trouble than it's worth. John Carter (talk) 20:42, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
    That seems to be a lot of work for little (if any) real gain, to me. The inactive banner is already "collapsed", for one thing. Many of these will already be within {{Wikiprojectbannershell}} templates as well.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 20:44, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
    A benefit would be compactness, cleanliness, Ohms. As said at the start "Some [inactive projects] have [b]anners which take up space on talk pages", which they (poss. multiple banners) still do irrespective of being collapsed or not. Edit: See below for more on this. –Whitehorse1 21:12, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
    The big problem with that idea is that all the talk pages transcluding the now-inactive project's banner have to be edited to swap in your multi-project inactive banner. With the current proposal, only the now-inactive project's banner itself need be edited. Anomie 01:57, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I fully support the 'display as inactive' proposal. We kill three birds with one stone: first of all, we declutter talk pages and assessment categories. Second, we avoid losing valuable data. Whether or not a project is active, the placement and extent of its project banners represents a huge amount of effort, labour, and valuable metadata. It is actively damaging to WP to erase that data by removing project banners from talk pages; there is absolutely no need to do so other than vague notions of tidyness. The more of the infrastructure of a wikiproject remains, the easier it is to restore and revitalise. Leading to point three: by presenting a banner marking the project as inactive, we let the banners fulfil their original purpose: as advertisments for the project. There is nothing more disingenuous or demoralising to follow a link from an upbeat project banner, to the dead shell of a wikiproject. Even worse is when editors fail to notice the project's inactivity, and join it anyway, only to realise at a later date that it's totally dead. If a project is marked as inactive, editors who follow its links are actively encouraged to take on the task of reanimating it, which can only be a good thing. A very promising development all round, I'd say. Happymelon 21:12, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Good third point, I had not considered. Still, for the make-an-effort and never get anywhere wiki projects, deletion would be better in my opinion. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 05:29, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (Follow-on/expansion from above on single vs. multiple "Inactive" banners.) There are two banner-shell templates: WPBS, and WPB. WPBS is normally used when up to six banners are present, otherwise WPB is used. The difference between the two is that WPBS—which is much more common of course—defaults to displaying a one-line summary of each WikiProject banner, while WPB defaults to displaying only a "[show]" link. Although it's possible for the defaults to be overridden to hide/show or expand the one-line summaries, the ordinary aka default outcome of the current proposal means anything up to six one-colored-bar summaries (containing "Inactive") for articles using WPBS. –Whitehorse1 21:53, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Is this a problem? Unless a page is inactive (or over-archiving) you need to page down to get to any recent content anyway. I usually find that the most recent comments aren't on the first screen of a talk page anyway, or there aren't any comments at all. Either way, the use of the screen real estate for banners isn't something I have ever thought of as a negative. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 22:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Could we not just give the banners a css class that hides them? although I would prefer something that makes it go slimline and basically says "<WP Name> (inactive)". Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 00:04, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
    A CSS class to allow people to hide them via their personal CSS file (or possibly via a gadget, if anyone cares to write one) wouldn't be a bad idea. But hiding them by default would run into the same problem that blanking them would. Anomie 02:00, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
And does nothing for the new editor who does not realize that lots of wikiprojects go nowhere and isn't going to blank them. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 05:29, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I would support something like an |inactive=yes parameter in the metabanner (or a fork at /inactive) which would tell you that the project is inactive, with a link to a general guide (yet to be written?) on what to do and how to do it when a project is inactive (upmerge, convert to taskforce, revive). I'm not convinced that different colors are needed, or that they should be minimized. If it's a clutter, {{WPBS}} or {{WPB}} should be used anyway. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 17:23, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see inactive projects' banners dimmed slightly, along with the current denotation method seen on, e.g., Talk:Cirque du Soleil. Powers T 03:40, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    Interesting idea. I'm not sure whether that would look good, but it might be worth exploring. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:07, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Both the minimized banner, as described above, and a lighter color background seem to me to be great ideas. I am opposed to deleting the banners because, again as above, it is much better to advertise a inactive project so that it might be revived.

I also think that a |inactive= in {{WPBM}} would be the simplest to administer. If an editor comes across an article that is tagged with a banner for a project that the editor knows is inactive, adding |inactive=yes is a lot more likely to happen than adding a new template. Plus, should the project be revived, all of the assessments are there waiting to be viewed once the |inactive= is either deleted or set to no.

JimCubb (talk) 06:01, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Jim, the idea is that the inactive status will set at the template level and not on each talk page. Therefore it is necessary just to make the change once and then all instances of the banner will be marked inactive in one sweep. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I think {{Inactive WikiProject banner}} is fine as it currently is: succinct and to the point. I don't think an additional change in colour is necessary. PC78 (talk) 01:03, 20 November 2009 (UTC)


What (if anything) should be done about the numerous empty categories that will have been depopulated by use of this template? PC78 (talk) 20:27, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Good question! -- WOSlinker (talk) 22:52, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Restore categories[edit]

I strongly disagree with this template's removal of wikiproject categories. Even in an inactive wikiproject, someone may which to develop the articles in the project's scope: develop stubs, make sure that top and high priory articles are in good shape, that kind of thing. The ability to do that is the kind of thing might just revive the Wikiproject. The removal of the categories serves no purpose, and serves only to sabotage the project and the encyclopedia. This template has a good use, it tells people to not expect the project to be of much help with the article, but this template goes way too far. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 19:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Come to think of it, removing all that normal WikiProject banner info from the inactive banner, jut to make the inactive banner "smaller" is pointless. Just make the inactive banner auto-collapse. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 20:46, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Should we restore the normal WikiProject banner info[edit]

I think a far better way of making the inactive banner "smaller" would be to set it to auto-collapse, instead of removing the normal WikiProject banner info. Also, what's the point of removing of wikiproject categories? Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 18:36, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

To clarify, under my proposal the template would still show up as "WikiProject Foo (Inactive)" (or something to that effect) even in it's clasped state. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 19:12, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I think the reason to remove the categories is that since no-one is reviewing them, they will gradually get out of date. So the question to ask is: Which is better, out of date classifications or no classifications? -- WOSlinker (talk) 20:14, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Out of date classifications are better, for the reason I pointed out in the above section. It's pretty much a given that anything in an inactive wikiproject could be out of date, and this template, restored info or not, makes it very clear that the project is inactive. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 20:31, 1 April 2013 (UTC)